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A wheely eventful Waitangi Day

There’s a packed Waitangi weekend in store for the region over the next three days, including a transport exhibition, horse racing, and a major fair.

Wheels at Wairarapa

‘Wheels’ is a festival of all things transport-related across the ages, including cars, farm machinery, and even steam-powered tractors. The event is on at Clareville Showgrounds all weekend. Collections of restored vehicles and machinery will be on display. Each day there will be events in the arena, including Clydesdale horse carriage rides for the young, and young at heart. The event is on from Saturday to Monday, between 10am and 4pm. Today there will be a focus on vintage, modern cars, and motorbikes. Tomorrow, classic cars and new trucks are on display. On Monday the focus is on agricultural machinery demonstrations and farm equipment. Adult tickets are $15 a day, five-to-15-year-olds are $5 a day, and kids under five are free. There is free all-day parking, entertainment, food and drinks onsite.

Racing at Tauherenikau

One of the region’s signature racing days will be held on Waitangi Day at Tauherenikau race course outside Featherston. The first of nine races kicks off at 12.30pm, while the last will be around 5pm. Gate entry is $20 for an adult, with under 18-year-olds free. People can bring a picnic or buy from the range of onsite food providers. The event promises a carnival atmosphere, with live music onsite. There will be free children’s entertainment, including Zappo the Magician, mini train rides, and bouncy castles.

Wairarapa Space Centre

The Wairarapa Space Centre is open until Monday 6 February. A favourite with kids, teens and adults, it’s a chance to experience the International Space Station using virtual reality headsets. People can fly virtually to the outer edges of the known universe in a dome-shaped planetarium and hear about the region’s recent Dark Sky Reserve accreditation. It’s open from 10am each morning and is an opportunity to experience space through the eyes of New Zealand space science experts. The Wairarapa Space Science Centre is located in the old Post Office Building on Carterton’s main street.

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